Summer tourism season kicks off this weekend in CT

Connecticut

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH)– The weather may not cooperate this weekend but that isn’t keeping people from traveling.

This busy weekend comes days after Bradley Airport added a new carrier, Breeze, and new nonstop service to places like Los Angeles and Nashville.

“I feel fine,” said Julie Turbert of West Haven. “I’m not nervous or anything. It’s good to get out of the house.”

Nearly 80% of Connecticut residents have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This is a day Connecticut’s Airport Authority has been waiting for.

Said Mimi Kirouac of Hatfield, Mass., “We feel safe. We’ve been vaccinated now for quite a long time. We have flown to Florida before for family issues, but we’re happy to be traveling and do feel like it’s a good thing.”

AAA predicts nearly 2.5 million Americans will board planes this weekend. All together, they estimate some 37 million people are traveling somewhere via roads, trains, or the skies.

T.S.A. lines were overflowing Friday morning. Still, despite this Memorial Day rebound travel is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. Traffic was down 97% at Bradley during the height of the pandemic.

There were 14 people on the plane on Southwest from Hartford to Orlando,” said Peter Paniczko, Hatfield, Mass. “…which is unbelievable that they actually flew. now it just, it seems easier and much safer.”

Bradley recently gained a new airline and new nonstop flights.

Kevin Dillon, executive director for Connecticut Airport Authority said, “Jetblue added four additional cities: L.A., San Francisco, Cancun, Las Vegas. Southwest added Nashville service.
So, what we’re hoping is that we will resume a lot of the nonstops that were suspended.”

Hannah Slagle of West Hartford commented, “it’s been awesome to see everybody get back out again and kind of start going through the motions. It’s been empty the whole entire COVID. So, it’s good that we’re finally doing it again.”

If you are boarding a bus, train, or plane. you’ll still need a mask.

According to AAA the most booked destination this weekend: Orlando, Florida. Bradley has four flights heading there today and even more heading down south.

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